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Are Gaming Journalists getting a lot of hate lately?


Rabbitearsblog

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So over the years, it seems that many gaming journalists are getting a lot of hate for their opinions on various video games.  Now, I can understand if some of the gaming journalists are being downright insulting towards a game or whenever they bring up a past aspect of a video game franchise that's not really necessary.  But whenever they give a game a negative review, the gaming community tend to attack them.  Do you think that gaming journalists are getting a lot of hate lately?

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I mean, at the most I'd just call them criticism's that reach the point of it sometimes becoming a meme (I.E; GameSpot's SpongeBob Rehydrated or EuroGamer's Spyro Reignited reviews), not so much an attack. But who am I to really say, since the only time I keep up with reviews is for like 2-3 games out of the year, and that doesn't even count any I hear about that's full of bugs.

Granted, there are extreme cases, but I rarely ever hear about them, nor do I wish any such thing on anyone. Especially over something like a review for a game, which, is their opinion that their allowed to have. But...intentionally being negative about said game, just for the sake of being negative...let's just say it's not a good look for them & the site they represent, and even the game they just gave a review for. As that's what studios look for when making improvements to the current game, or the next game.

I can understand if their being reasonable about their review and have some complaints that doesn't detract from their overall experience/score too much. But when it's not that, they just become an easy source of criticism themselves.

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37 minutes ago, Blueknight V2.0 said:

I mean, at the most I'd just call them criticism's that reach the point of it sometimes becoming a meme (I.E; GameSpot's SpongeBob Rehydrated or EuroGamer's Spyro Reignited reviews), not so much an attack. But who am I to really say, since the only time I keep up with reviews is for like 2-3 games out of the year, and that doesn't even count any I hear about that's full of bugs.

Granted, there are extreme cases, but I rarely ever hear about them, nor do I wish any such thing on anyone. Especially over something like a review for a game, which, is their opinion that their allowed to have. But...intentionally being negative about said game, just for the sake of being negative...let's just say it's not a good look for them & the site they represent, and even the game they just gave a review for. As that's what studios look for when making improvements to the current game, or the next game.

I can understand if their being reasonable about their review and have some complaints that doesn't detract from their overall experience/score too much. But when it's not that, they just become an easy source of criticism themselves.

I agree that critics are entitled to their opinions, just like any regular reviewer.  However, as you stated, if the critic is just being negative for no good reason, then they could be harmful for the gaming industry as a whole, especially if the gaming companies take the wrong messages from the critics who are being overly negative for no reason.

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I mean, game critics have gotten unnecessary crap since the internet began, and especially as games have grown as a medium.

But also, if it's worse lately than usual, tribalism and the-culture-I-like-is-my-identity is pretty strong right now, and the internet's favorite hobby is dogpiling on someone who likes something that others don't, or someone who doesn't like something that others do. And the internet LOVES to decide whether or not they like something before they've consumed it.

Though I want to push back on a concept that a critic is overly harsh for "no reason." There is never "no reason." If someone authentically does not like a game or a concept, take them at face value (so long as we are talking about actual games critics and not entertainment streamers, that hard line really needs to be drawn). Ideally, if this person IS a practiced critic, they can express why they don't like something in a way that is informative and understandable, and you have to be okay accepting that it is their opinion. You don't have to agree, but you do have to accept that's how they feel.

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4 hours ago, GX Echidna said:

I mean, game critics have gotten unnecessary crap since the internet began, and especially as games have grown as a medium.

But also, if it's worse lately than usual, tribalism and the-culture-I-like-is-my-identity is pretty strong right now, and the internet's favorite hobby is dogpiling on someone who likes something that others don't, or someone who doesn't like something that others do. And the internet LOVES to decide whether or not they like something before they've consumed it.

Though I want to push back on a concept that a critic is overly harsh for "no reason." There is never "no reason." If someone authentically does not like a game or a concept, take them at face value (so long as we are talking about actual games critics and not entertainment streamers, that hard line really needs to be drawn). Ideally, if this person IS a practiced critic, they can express why they don't like something in a way that is informative and understandable, and you have to be okay accepting that it is their opinion. You don't have to agree, but you do have to accept that's how they feel.

It's true that gaming journalists are entitled to their own opinions, just like any game reviewer is entitled to their own opinions.  However, there are times where gaming journalists start insulting the fanbase or insult the developers working on the game and that's where I think that some gaming journalists can go a little too far.

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29 minutes ago, GX Echidna said:

I'm curious which journalists are actually doing that, because generally speaking if you are a games journalist or critic by profession, you know better than to do something so unprofessional.

Well, there was that controversy with Dunkey's review on Sonic Frontiers and how he seemed to encourage his viewers to review bomb Sonic Frontiers and the controversy Jim Sterling went through when they supposedly stated that Sonic Frontiers seemed to be made by a team was led by "lazy hack fucks."  I'm not sure if Dunkey or Jim Sterling are actual critics or they are just popular YouTube reviewers.  I don't watch either one. But they definitely got a lot of hate for what they said in their reviews.

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1 hour ago, Rabbitearsblog said:

Well, there was that controversy with Dunkey's review on Sonic Frontiers and how he seemed to encourage his viewers to review bomb Sonic Frontiers and the controversy Jim Sterling went through when they supposedly stated that Sonic Frontiers seemed to be made by a team was led by "lazy hack fucks."  I'm not sure if Dunkey or Jim Sterling are actual critics or they are just popular YouTube reviewers.  I don't watch either one. But they definitely got a lot of hate for what they said in their reviews.

Those are the ones I heard about (alongside Digital Trends), never watched Dunkey's videos or heard of them until Frontiers came out. The latter is from a review site I've never heard of. And I think this tweet thread puts it best.

I respect all opinions, but if it were me doing a review for Frontiers (which I plan to do soon). Aside from the positives, I would just mention a few nitpicks on my part, which isn't very much. And suggest how those things could be improved. While making a tiny, innocent joke about the occasional oddity I come across. But never going to the point of outright insulting the devs or community 'cause I get frustrated with something.

Believe me, the Spyro community had their fair share of this back when Reignited launched. It was only one person to my knowledge, but still. Their behavior toward the devs & community was unprofessional, and got them kicked off a site they were writing for...and then proceeded to continue doing it elsewhere.

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I only know both from reputation (and a very little bit of Sterling back when he was on The Escapist, I quickly determined he was not for me), but I'm not sure I'd consider either of them in their YouTube personalities to be professional "journalists" or "game critics" in any conventional sense. They're professional entertainers first and professional critics a distant second, which is kind of what you need to be to survive on YouTube.  It's why I wanted to draw that delineation.

Though in that sense, I do feel that certain attitudes in the YouTuber and streamer space can be pretty harmful.

Generally speaking, I don't recommend ever calling any developer or development studio "lazy." Game development is a massive pain in the ass compared to standard software development, it pays less, it tends to have harder crunch, and you have to deal with an audience that is much quicker to become aggressive over minutia than standard business development.

I don't love Sonic Frontiers, there are a lot of places I feel it is lacking, but I'd also say my interpretation of it is that it's what happens when you need to spread resources thin, not "laziness" from the people who make it.

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1 hour ago, Blueknight V2.0 said:

Those are the ones I heard about (alongside Digital Trends), never watched Dunkey's videos or heard of them until Frontiers came out. The latter is from a review site I've never heard of. And I think this tweet thread puts it best.

I respect all opinions, but if it were me doing a review for Frontiers (which I plan to do soon). Aside from the positives, I would just mention a few nitpicks on my part, which isn't very much. And suggest how those things could be improved. While making a tiny, innocent joke about the occasional oddity I come across. But never going to the point of outright insulting the devs or community 'cause I get frustrated with something.

Believe me, the Spyro community had their fair share of this back when Reignited launched. It was only one person to my knowledge, but still. Their behavior toward the devs & community was unprofessional, and got them kicked off a site they were writing for...and then proceeded to continue doing it elsewhere.

I agree.  There's absolutely nothing wrong with hating on a game.  However, I wouldn't make a habit of insulting the developers or anyone working on the game when reviewing a game.  That just make you look bad, whether you are a critic or not.

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In terms of game reviews, unless said reviewer decides to lash out on people that have a different point of view in their own review or anywhere outside of it, I'd say they're being hated way too much.

But, and this is my honest opinion, when it comes to takes that are outside their expertise (talking about, say, gaming industry in general, the negatives of said industry, the allegations), most of the time it genuinely feels like their brain is just shutting down and not enough people are calling them out on that. For example, the whole Microsoft buying ABK deal should be frowned upon due to it opening a gateway to pure consolidation of the entire industry, yet many journalists celebrate it because "well, that means they could revive old, dormant IPs!" (that hasn't happened with MS so far and I don't see how that's gonna change in any way), and when they're confronted with reasons why this isn't a good deal, they mostly resort to whataboutism of "but Sony does the exact same things!" or straight up bootlicking. In these cases I feel like they're not being called out enough.

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2 hours ago, Bobnik said:

In terms of game reviews, unless said reviewer decides to lash out on people that have a different point of view in their own review or anywhere outside of it, I'd say they're being hated way too much.

But, and this is my honest opinion, when it comes to takes that are outside their expertise (talking about, say, gaming industry in general, the negatives of said industry, the allegations), most of the time it genuinely feels like their brain is just shutting down and not enough people are calling them out on that. For example, the whole Microsoft buying ABK deal should be frowned upon due to it opening a gateway to pure consolidation of the entire industry, yet many journalists celebrate it because "well, that means they could revive old, dormant IPs!" (that hasn't happened with MS so far and I don't see how that's gonna change in any way), and when they're confronted with reasons why this isn't a good deal, they mostly resort to whataboutism of "but Sony does the exact same things!" or straight up bootlicking. In these cases I feel like they're not being called out enough.

I agree that if there are some massive issues that are happening in the gaming industry that could hurt the industry and gaming journalists who are covering those topics, should at least go into detail into those subjects instead of sugar coating everything.  However, I think that gaming journalists are "bootlicking" in these cases because they don't want to lose their jobs because they were being honest.  That's the unfortunate case with most workplaces is that sometimes when the employees are trying to state what is wrong with the company they are working for, they either get fired or get shut down for trying to protest.

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The primary issue isn't YouTubers who hate-play things for the lols. It isn't whiny dumps like Kotaku where they only exist to get mad about shit that's irrelevant. It's not even the old standby of complaints about game review scales (anything under 7/10 or 3/5 being considered unplayable, anything from a large IP not automatically scoring high being treated as both a conspiracy when something scores too high based on its perceived merits and an outrage if a game in a large IP scores too low). The primary issue is that the game industry has gotten so big and profitable that game journalists, far more so than contemporaries in other types of media, are largely just nearly-free advertising for publishers and the public has realized it. Now, that's not across the board. You have semi-independent people like Schreier who do good and important work in the industry, and then you have the two big outlets in IGN and Gamespot who are big enough and been around long enough to still have clout, and you have a handful of somewhat smaller (but still typically long-lived) outlets that have some specific niche that they do very well and their credibility extends out from that  ecpertise (Digital Foundry is what immediately comes to mine).

 

 

 

 

Everyone else has a relationship with publishers where they are basically just running glorified blogs with stringent (and at any time for any reason revokable) press access. They say what the publisher tells them to say, show what the publisher tells them to show, they don't verify information before publishing it (for sure a problem everywhere in the social media era, but one that seems to be much worse in the gaming sphere where ability to function relies basically solely on what you are given access to) even if the source is someone who they know can't be taken at face value, and frequently their "news" or "previews" about games are strictly controlled environments so not a bad word gets out before the review embargo (which probably has fairly strict restrictions on what content is allowed) lifts and a game has already sold millions of preorder copies.

When was the last time you saw a gaming outlet report on a game close to release that was running like shit? When was the last time you saw a gaming outlet report on a game close to release that was loaded with glitches? When was the last time you saw a game close to release that was fuck ugly? I haven't seen anything of the sort since the traditional game magazines started going out of print; and we helpfully have one that just released where the problems were almost completely hidden from the public until after release. Ultimately publishers decided that what most game journalists say just doesn't matter if it's not something that good their product; and therefore they are the ones that completely control the narrative and not the people who are supposed to be looking out for the consumer. Based on the growth of the industry, where execrable no-effort exploitative shit like FIFA and NBA 2K and Madden gets 70s on Metacritic and the most a gaming outlet can seem to do to get people riled up is to bandwagon something (let's say a game launches with horrific microtransactions) that people are already mad about once and then never follow up, I can't really blame people for treating things for the past console generation and a half like we're dealing with game "journalists" instead of game journalists.

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50 minutes ago, Tornado said:

The primary issue isn't YouTubers who hate-play things for the lols. It isn't whiny dumps like Kotaku where they only exist to get mad about shit that's irrelevant. It's not even the old standby of complaints about game review scales (anything under 7/10 or 3/5 being considered unplayable, anything from a large IP not automatically scoring high being treated as both a conspiracy when something scores too high based on its perceived merits and an outrage if a game in a large IP scores too low). The primary issue is that the game industry has gotten so big and profitable that game journalists, far more so than contemporaries in other types of media, are largely just nearly-free advertising for publishers and the public has realized it. Now, that's not across the board. You have semi-independent people like Schreier who do good and important work in the industry, and then you have the two big outlets in IGN and Gamespot who are big enough and been around long enough to still have clout, and you have a handful of somewhat smaller (but still typically long-lived) outlets that have some specific niche that they do very well and their credibility extends out from that  ecpertise (Digital Foundry is what immediately comes to mine).

Everyone else has a relationship with publishers where they are basically just running glorified blogs with stringent (and at any time for any reason revokable) press access. They say what the publisher tells them to say, show what the publisher tells them to show, they don't verify information before publishing it (for sure a problem everywhere in the social media era, but one that seems to be much worse in the gaming sphere where ability to function relies basically solely on what you are given access to) even if the source is someone who they know can't be taken at face value, and frequently their "news" or "previews" about games are strictly controlled environments so not a bad word gets out before the review embargo (which probably has fairly strict restrictions on what content is allowed) lifts and a game has already sold millions of preorder copies.

When was the last time you saw a gaming outlet report on a game close to release that was running like shit? When was the last time you saw a gaming outlet report on a game close to release that was loaded with glitches? When was the last time you saw a game close to release that was fuck ugly? I haven't seen anything of the sort since the traditional game magazines started going out of print. Ultimately publishers decided that what most game journalists say just doesn't matter if it's not something that supports their product; and therefore they are the ones that completely control the narrative and not the people who are supposed to be looking out for the consumer. Based on the growth of the industry, where execrable no-effort exploitative shit like FIFA and NBA 2K and Madden gets 70s on Metacritic and the most a gaming outlet can seem to do to get people riled up is to bandwagon something (let's say a game launches with horrific microtransactions) that people are already mad about once and then never follow up, I can't really blame people for treating things for the past console generation and a half like we're dealing with game "journalists" instead of game journalists.

Now that I think about it, that's probably why some gaming journalists don't seem to address some issues with the games before they are released because the gaming companies are basically telling them to not discuss any flaws with the games.  Just like how you see advertisements of the games just focusing on the positive reviews rather than the negative reviews.

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Also, while I don't know who Dunkey is:

23 hours ago, Rabbitearsblog said:

Well, there was that controversy with Dunkey's review on Sonic Frontiers and how he seemed to encourage his viewers to review bomb Sonic Frontiers and the controversy Jim Sterling went through when they supposedly stated that Sonic Frontiers seemed to be made by a team was led by "lazy hack fucks."  I'm not sure if Dunkey or Jim Sterling are actual critics or they are just popular YouTube reviewers.  I don't watch either one. But they definitely got a lot of hate for what they said in their reviews.

Sterling became a notable person in the industry basically by seeing fanbases react negatively to something, taking some deliberately shitty take about that thing and then picking public fights with said fanbases over it (up to and including calling out and attacking individual random ass people on the internet. In an editorial for a major video game outlet). This went a long way towards getting lots of attention a decade ago and made the Sterling "brand" popular.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For whatever value Sterling has had in talking about industry practices since those Destructoid days, Sterling has always been an asshole troll in game reviews and Jimquisitions that are actually bona fide reviews have never been worth the time it takes to read/watch them. Unlike with reviewers who frequently similarly caustic (for example, Yahtzee actually has consistent things that he likes and dislikes and is upfront about when he's doing a bit) it's basically always been impossible to discern the things in a Sterling review that are deliberately being said to provoke a response with the audience from any actual criticism that is being made as part of a game review.

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2 hours ago, Tornado said:

Also, while I don't know who Dunkey is:

Sterling became a notable person in the industry basically by seeing fanbases react negatively to something, taking some deliberately shitty take about that thing and then picking public fights with said fanbases over it (up to and including calling out and attacking individual random ass people on the internet. In an editorial for a major video game outlet). This went a long way towards getting lots of attention a decade ago and made the Sterling "brand" popular.

For whatever value Sterling has had in talking about industry practices since those Destructoid days, Sterling has always been an asshole troll in game reviews and Jimquisitions that are actually bona fide reviews have never been worth the time it takes to read/watch them. Unlike with reviewers who frequently similarly caustic (for example, Yahtzee actually has consistent things that he likes and dislikes and is upfront about when he's doing a bit) it's basically always been impossible to discern the things in a Sterling review that are deliberately being said to provoke a response with the audience from any actual criticism that is being made as part of a game review.

I honestly have never seen Sterling's content.  But the whole incident about calling out the developers was really unnecessary.  If you are a part of a large critic company and you start insulting fans and the developers, then most people are not going to take your critiques seriously and you end up upsetting them.  I definitely wouldn't trust reviewers whose goal is to just insult people for disagreeing with them.

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3 hours ago, Rabbitearsblog said:

I honestly have never seen Sterling's content.  But the whole incident about calling out the developers was really unnecessary.  If you are a part of a large critic company and you start insulting fans and the developers, then most people are not going to take your critiques seriously and you end up upsetting them.  I definitely wouldn't trust reviewers whose goal is to just insult people for disagreeing with them.

Sterling's that kind of reviewer who doesn't always toe the line proper between funny internet persona and actual proper reviewer. Not helped by the fact that the Jimquisition is considered an "official" enough reviewer to get counted on stuff like MetaCritic.

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It’s worth noting that Steph has explicitly noted how negative content of theirs tends to track better compared to whenever they do any “positive” or more “journalistic” content 

I’ll also say, I still don’t really get the backlash to the “lazy” comparison they made (not calling them lazy, but saying the product they put out felt comparable in certain ways to their experiences playing shitty Steam greenlight asset flip games made by actual lazy “devs”, as the review states before that they experienced multiple times the game bugging on them and sending them out of bounds, things commonly found in shitty Steam greenlight titles. They also bring up that the world feels empty and lifeless and like things are just dropped there, as well as feeling sonic is out of place, again, something they’re familiar feeling when they’ve play steam games). That’s…been a thing they’ve done for quite some time, like years, with absolutely no prior backlash, actually usually getting more agreement than anything: 

Do I agree with everything stated in the frontiers review? No, tho I also think a lot of what was said came off pretty reasonable, even if I think they went extreme on the overall score. But this has been their style of review when being critical of games that make them feel like this, and it’s a style that has usually never been challenged or met with any mass backlash. You might find it harsh, which fair, but it’s usually criticism that’s been accepted and understood. It’s just weird I guess to suddenly see people only NOW go “this is bad” and make this go viral and throw claims of this being harassment/bullying to the devs.

The constant baiting of fanbases tho I’ll agree at times can make me groan, tho I think in certain instances it’s definitely well justified. Yes I’m looking at the No Man’s Sky, Breath of the Wild, and Cyberpunk fanbases

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